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July 11, 2005: Hurricane Porno

Am I the only who finds the cable news obsession with hurricanes and similar disasters -- even when... especially when... they are nowhere near the catastrophes they were cracked up to be -- to be one of the more amusing spectacles on television? Watching Geraldo and Anderson Cooper vie with each other last night for the most breathless-deathless description of the event while parading around in the latest expensive rain gear from REI or LLBean (is there product placement going on here?) and desperately hoping for some tree to get uprooted near enough to them to look as if they were in danger presented all sorts of comic possibilities. I think Laurel & Hardy would have gotten it just about right.

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I walked by the TV at one point and caught a horizontal Jeraldo holding onto a tree with one hand and the mike with the other--rain-lashed surf roaring all around--screaming something about nobody with a lick of sense would be anywhere near this hurricane....


Fox News was really bad, CNN worse. But the local stations here in Houston are just awful about "dressing" up their coverage. You can't imagine the blubbering coverage we get just from a rain storm. All in the hope of being the "most watched" on TV.


I don't know if amusing is the word I would choose. It is vile sensationalism whose ultimate result is to make light of an inevitably serious situation.
So Dennis didn't turn out to be the killer the media hoped. (because it's not like there is death and destruction going on anywhere else in the world, like say, London for example.) However, it is not just possible but highly probable that one or more of the Hurricanes that will barrel down on us Floridians this season will be horrible, deadly and destructive. And each time some two-bit, more hair than brains "news" person stands out there in 50 mph winds holding onto his hat for dear life, they mitigate the severity of the real, powerful hurricanes. They piddle with and make light of an issue that is very real for those of us in Florida and the Southeast.
Don't expect it to stop either, since it looks like we have another that will be headed this way in a week. Let's hope this one turns out to be another "disappointment" for the media.


Ludicrous is the word.


Yeah, Buddy, wasn't that a funny shot of Geraldo?


I think there should be an Emmy category "Best Reporter Leaning Into Hurricane" shot.


Gee . . . it's just too bad that Ron Reagan wasn't sent out to cover this storm. I'm sure he would have done a stellar job, this being more equal to his interviewing skills than getting swept off the floor by Hitchens.


This is Dan Rather weather. A hurricane launched him into the national spotlight in the 60s and helped make him into the seasoned journalist that he is today. A reporter who isn't afraid to let high winds muss up his hair on camera would never flinch during a little tempest like TANG.



i must have caught, ajd cuckled from, the same clip of Geraldo. Strike that...there may well have been an hour's worth of "Leaning Rivera" yesterday


Ha...the 45-degree anchorman!


Q: What did Larry King say upon hearing that Anderson Cooper had floated away in the wake of Hurricane Dennis?

A: I always thought that putz was an airhead.


It's part of the media's attempt to push global warming.

There's another headline today "NYC Temps near Record".

It'll reach 95 degrees today and top out in the 80's for the rest of the week.

Wow.


The most absurd item I witnessed in the Hurricane Dennis coverage (can't ID the network or reporter) was a reporter standing in a parking lot in what I took for FL, in conditions that would qualify as nothing more than a moderately severe rainstorm even in non-hurricane country, who beckoned the camera and audience to "follow me so I can show you this" and walked 20 or 30 feet across the parking lot, splatted the tip of his rain boot in a freakin' puddle that wasn't large enough to interest a child, and blathered something about "already experiencing ponding".

I guess it's just me but I found the coverage atrociously overdone. Not that that's anything new.


The hurricane coverage seems to be the Platonic equivalent of the Gitmo coverage, i.e. hyped to death. Maybe people should be leaving copies of the Koran on the beach for the storm surge to desecrate...


While it is amusing to ridicule the press for their overkill in coverage of Dennis, it may be frutiful to remember that the press always distorts any story with weather not being exempt. However, until you are actually in one of these storms you cannot begin to fathom how quickly a "storm of mediocre performance," can rapidly turn into a real nightmare. Just ask those of us who survived Andrew, Charlie, Francis, and Ivan. In a similar vein, I would much rather have coverage that is overkilled than no coverage at all. It is apparent that the public always perceives the press as wrong. If they had not reported the event at the same level and Dennis had turned out to be something bigger than what it was, the folks would be moaning about how the press was not vigilant enough. Come on fellow bloggers! Let's complain about something of real relevance such as the lack of reporting by the media with regards to the questionable voting outcome in Ohio which has placed a man back into office for the second time with what to me appears to be less than noble intentions. Remember, London may not have happened if we had not diverted our attention to what our noble President accused John Kerry of calling the wrong war, the wrong time, at the wrong place. Is it possible Kerry was correct?


Not to let the others off easy, but I've thought of Geraldo as nothing more than a self-aggrandizing (and highly self-regarding) buffoon ever since he jumped over that shark in Al Capone's vault a generation ago. My opinion of Fox dropped several notches when they signed him up.


Oh, I don't know. I did get a kick out of watching one of the Weather Channel guys out ahead of the storm reporting when the lightning started hitting so close to him it scared the crap out of him. He actually stayed there for a few minutes, looking scared to death (and constantly looking over his shoulder at the approaching storm - like that would help), before deciding they needed to get out of there.

I also heard (but didn't see) another of their field reporters got blown over by the wind.

Guess you take your jollies where you can find them. (Slow weekend.) :-D


Yogi, isn't "Ohio" a whisper campaign intended to put a cloud over the career of a dangerously black Republican? Got any reputable links on the issue? I'd be glad to read 'em, if so. Seems like it'd be a huge story.


What I don't get is that everyone knows that the same thing is going to happen time and time again because that is just what goes on there in that part of the country for the weather RIGHT. Why then are they so suprised when it does? Why do they keep rebuilding in the same dam spot? Am I the only one that thinks that there is something wrong with this picture. I think after the first time one came through and destroyed my home I would rebuild else where. but that is just my thinking. WHY DO THEY KEEP GETTING AID TO REBUILD IN THE SAME SPOT. mel


Yogi is off topic, not to mention his rocker.


Well, I don't know which is worse: the coverage or the complaints about the coverage.

I don't think every cable channel had to have wall-to-wall coverage, for sure. And, in fact, for this type of thing I turn to the Weather Channel. It's their job and they do it well.

But just because this hurricane did NOT turn out to be a disaster is no reason to criticize. Because of the damage and coverage of Ivan, people evacuated this time who did not last time. That's good. The report from one Fla county (don't remember the county name) said that during Ivan there were 9000 911 calls, during this one, a handful.

Is that because this hurricane wasn't so bad or is it because people evacuated so weren't in a position to have to call 911? I report. You decide. I would suggest the answer is both.

These complaints really are hindsight, aren't they? Dennis was a category 4 hours before it hit. That it weakened before it made landfall is not the fault of reporters.

The REAL complaint should be overemphasis on Category rather than taking all available info into consideration. Example: Dennis and Ivan had vastly different forward speeds. Dennis was much faster going through which meant that the high force winds didn't have as much of a chance to cause more damage. Even a Cat 1 hurricane can cause extensive damage if its winds blow over an area for a long period of time.

News reporters simply don't understand the facts behind most of what they report, weather is only one area of ignorance.

Again, that's why I watch the Weather Channel for this stuff so I don't really get upset over other coverage because I'm not tuned in.


Oh, and Yogi?

Give it a rest, willya?

This constant impotent loser whining is getting old.

But to answer your question vis a vis sKerry: NO.


Re: Lola at July 11, 2005 08:10 AM

It would never work out. It's just not safe for anyone that full of hot air to be outside in any sort of inclement weather.


As one who lives in the area impacted by Opal, Ivan, and Dennis, I'm certainly glad that Dennis didn't live up to his advanced billing.

One of the problems is these darn storms refuse to follow a script. Dennis was at 145 mph yesterday morning and predicted to make landfall just East of Mobile. If that scenario had played itself out, there would have indeed been some good video. But he weakened and instead made landfall about 50 miles further east than thought. Those "journalist" who'd positioned themselves in Pensacola were on the wrong side of the storm.

Just another thought: I lost power a good 4 hours before Dennis made landfall. That's true of many viewers. So any coverage of the landfall doesn't do much to inform those impacted and does serve to alarm families and friends.


HUNNYB--it keeps happening, but the bid on the underlying real-estate never takes a hit. It defies logic, but there it is. People love that white sand and blue sea. I don't blame 'em!


Lola -- You kidding? That lightweight would maybe come down in Alberta...


Where the Heck was Jim Cantorie? I watched for hours, and his Geraldo Rivera performances were not front and center on TWC where I was watching. He cracks me up. He stayed in Palm Bay last year for Frances and Jeanne and the hurricanes hit farther south of him, so his coverage was unexciting and lame compared to the real action. Her seemed bummed!


I'm irked. Do you know how hard it is to come up with sleazy double entendres for "hurricane porno" that can be printed on a respectable website like this one.

Closest I can come is "Ultimate [second word:job]"...


look out dennis! HERE COME Emily. I just hope that this one stops before there is to much damage. tis the season for them mel


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